REUTERS - Iranian President Hassan Rohani denounced Islamic State's beheading of innocent people, saying the militant group's shameful actions violate Islamic principles, NBC News said in excerpts of an interview released on Wednesday.
- Shared Interests in Iraq Could Build Trust Between U.S., Iran
- Who Moved My Iranian Threat?
- Middle East Updates / Rohani: Islamic State Wants to 'Kill Humanity'
- Iran Ready to Work With U.S. Against IS, but Wants Nuclear Flexibility in Exchange
- Pope Francis Condemns Islamist Militants: Not the Armor of God
"From the viewpoint of the Islamic tenets and culture, killing an innocent people equals the killing of the whole humanity," Rohani told the television network, according to NBC. "And therefore, the killing and beheading of innocent people in fact is a matter of shame for them and it's the matter of concern and sorrow for all the human and all the mankind."
Rohani's comments follow the recent beheadings of captured U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Last week, a video purporting to show the beheading of British hostage David Haines also emerged. Other hostages also have been purportedly killed by the Islamic militant group.
The interview of Rohani at his palace in Tehran comes ahead of his visit next week to the United Nations in New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly, where much of the discussion is expected to center on how to counter the Islamic State.
The United States has been trying to build an international coalition to fight the militant group but Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, this week said he had rejected Washington's offer for talks on the issue.
On Wednesday, U.S. President Barack Obama said so far 40 nations have pledged to help. Obama is expected to meet with his national security team on Wednesday to discuss the UN meeting on Islamic State, the White House said.